Left Neglect Children
Former members of Pedro the Lion, Roadside Monument, Action Bastard, and Other Desert Cities, band together as Left Neglect; a warm remembrance of the lasting elements of indie-rock. An immediate nostalgic rush is set on their extremely catchy title track, which swims with political commentary. And despite the opener easily becoming a one dimensional ear-worm, the remaining 5-tracks are a delightful post-rock nugget; “Gaslighter” alludes to an aggressive disagreement between yourself. The track’s bass riffs jab and bleed nicely onto “Badman.” “November” and “The Maw” expand into emotional ballads and are carefully crafted in poise and lyrics.
Highland Kites “A Thousand Reasons”
Highland Kites have always been a favorite act to follow and there’s such an irreplaceable freedom coined with each release from Marissa Lamar and Neil Briggs. As stated on social media, this track ( “A Thousand Reasons”) was “almost scratched 300 times” for its emotional packaging, and with anything honest, the result is just better. And not to relish in the narrator’s pain, but as a listener you appreciate the genuine entanglement of feelings which overlaps each human. It’s penned as a confessional letter that one drips as they teeter the thought of walking away. Lamar crafts a dreamy tone, creamier than previous tracks, and grips hold of her warm vocals for one of the band’s most enjoyable release to date.
Eligia “Outsider“, Eligia (releases January 18, 2020)
Bedroom pop and shoegaze come sweetly from U.K.’s Eligia and its label, aptly dubbed Crafting Room Recordings, which boast to “help produce new artists (100% of royalties to artist).” The self-titled 7-track EP, which was written and recorded by the label’s founder Archie Sagers, is seen in a dreamy light due to its three released singles. Of those, “Outsider” maintains its shape after each listen. And while the lyrics are aren’t the track’s strongest point — based of Albert Camus’ 1942 novel The Outsider — the vividness of the soundscape allows a natural soak in its lo-fi and minimal construction.
Heptagon “Read it Through The Roots“, Let Go Your Earthly Tether (releases March 6, 2020)
LA’s math and progressive rock band, Heptagon, announce their first full-length and celebrate by pushing out two singles for the new year. Secretly, my heart is extremely excited at the sound of anything that dabbles into progressive indie and that could also fall into a emo playlist — specifically the vocals. As promised by their style, the two singles are ripe: cue a tight rhythm section and layered guitars on each verse. “Read it Through The Roots” pines, swims with an early 2000’s score (somewhat familiar drum lead in), and sharply maneuvers throughout the track’s time signature, switching with an energetic glee, up to its slow end.
Hot Lava Monster “The End Cometh“, The End Cometh Legacy Edition
This album contains 55 tracks. A tidbit that needs to be addressed as of now. South Caroline 4-piece aimed to finish what was stated years ago, which I assume led to the bountiful selection on their Legacy Collection (as the standard version only contains 12 tracks). It’s a stoner meets classic rock collection which is very much alive and well throughout the HLM’s declaration. Through the standard cuts of dirt kicking licks and harmonic riffs, the album’s title track stands out and puts on display a progressive and controlled anguish. Tipping over 8-minutes, this is the track that is an obvious labor of love — which though I wish was heard more on the album — and a hard gem that justly introduces the band.